December 16, 2020
Convicted: 2055495 Ontario Inc. operating as Miska Trailer Factory, 1056 Highway 6 North, Suite #3, RR 2, Hamilton, Ontario.
Location of Workplace: The company’s manufacturing facility at 1056 Highway 6 North, Hamilton, Ontario.
Description of Offence: A worker was electrocuted after coming into contact with live powerlines.
Date of Offences: March 21, 2019.
Date of Conviction: December 11, 2020.
- Following a guilty plea in Ontario Court of Justice in Hamiton, Miska was fined $150,000 by Justice Anthony Leitch; Crown Counsel Shantanu Roy.
- The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
- On March 21, 2019, a worker employed by Miska was tasked by a supervisor with modifying some new flags attached to aluminum poles and then mounting the aluminum poles atop stationary flagpoles located along a fence in the factory’s parking lot.
- The worker drove a forklift with a scissor lift on its forks to the work area in the parking lot, then got on the scissor lift with an aluminum pole with a flag attached. The worker raised the lift to reach the top of the flagpole.
- As the aluminum pole was lifted into position, it made contact with the 16,000-volt live overhead powerlines above the flag pole, electrocuting the worker.
- Co-workers lowered the scissor lift and the worker was transported to hospital in critical condition, ultimately succumbing to the injuries.
An investigation of the incident by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found Miska did not take steps to prevent encroachment by the existing flagpole and new flag installation upon the 3-metre (10-foot) minimum distance set from live powerlines.
Miska committed the offence of failing, as an employer, to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, contrary to section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.